For the Love of Kickers

Hate and slander if you must, but no one can deny that kickers are amazing. Ok, well maybe not amazing but they (when a part of your roster construction) can be very, very helpful. I see you laughing, stop it, I’m serious.

Why All the Hate?

Where is the love for all of our offensive, point scoring positions? I’ve seen so much indignation towards kickers and I seriously can’t figure out why. Sure, sometimes those guys are the reason you destroy or get destroyed, but isn’t that fantasy football? Every position has that capability. Every position has some level of unpredictability or “boom/ bust”. Nerf the position or downright get rid of it from your league if it pains you that much, your loss. There seems to be a love for those gems at the back end of drafts that could give you the jolt your offense needs to win any given week and I don’t see how a kicker doesn’t do that for you. You punt the position, you end up with a more on-the-fence type kicker. You go for a top tier kicker and you get an every week starter, just like any other position.

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Methods of A Madman

At this point I’d imagine I will be deemed clinically insane by my sisters and brethren of the fantasy community. However, I probably have your attention. While I do, I’m going to show you the exact reasons why I believe in the position and will (with the boss man’s blessing) do weekly kicker rankings along with our other skill positions for your viewing pleasure.

Scoring, scoring and more scoring. When it comes to fantasy, I love scoring. I find it has gotten me a lot of wins over the last few years of playing fantasy football (and other point based games). You know what scores points in this game we play? Kickers! In PPR (what we’re generally geared towards), two kickers ranked in the top 82. Zuerlein and Gostkowski. Hate it or not, thems the facts! To put things into perspective, here’s a look at the top 12 tight ends with kicker scoring sprinkled in:

Kelce
Gronkowski
Ertz (so far so good)
Kicker
Walker
Engram
Kicker
Graham
Kicker
Doyle
Kicker
Kicker
Kicker
Kicker
Kicker
Rudolph
Kicker
Kicker
Kicker
Witten
Brate
Kicker
Watson
Kicker
Kicker
Cook

You can fit the TOP 14 inside the top 12 for tight ends. If anything, this is indicative of how bad the TE position has been and is at the moment. I could go back and do the last three years or something fancy, but I think this presents enough shock value to prove a point. IF you utilize kickers, THEY HAVE VALUE. I’m not big on telling people how to draft. The draft camp I’m a part of is the “Get Your Guy” club, so do as you please.

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A Kick in the Right Direction

To help you out, I’ve done some digging to give you some sure fire guys to choose for your rosters. Before we start, remember that although there are kickers that are fine without a humming offense, most need an above average offense to contribute at a high level.

Gostkowski
He’s got the high powered offense of the Patriots on his side and I don’t see any reason for him to not continue to score at a high rate.
Tucker
Tucker to seems to be offense proof as the Ravens haven’t been the greatest offensively over the last couple of years, yet he continues to land in the top 12. Only he and Gostkowski have done it 3 years in a row.
Gould
To me, Gould is another talent. He technically would have been right alongside the first two but he got cut by the Bears in 2016. He ended up replacing Josh Brown (suspended for domestic abuse) for the last 10 games with the New York Giants. He stepped right back into the top 12 limelight last year and has a QB who can help keep him there in Jimmy G.

High powered offense choices:

Wil Lutz
Jake Elliott
Daniel Carlson
Chris Boswell
Matt Bryant
Matt Prater
Mason Crosby
Ryan Succop
Greg Zuerlein

I’m not saying draft a kicker in the fifth round, but know your league and grab the best ones before they’re gone because they make a difference. I kind of like having a 10+ point scorer in my lineup. That’s what we’re talking about when you remove names and positions and just put week to week scores or end of season scores up for comparison. Take a chance and wait a round for one of those hit-or-miss guys and grab a kicker. You won’t find that kind of consistency at the back of drafts (barring injury and other variables) but you can take kicker consistency to the bank!

Be on the lookout for my official weekly kicker rankings for the first time ever in the history of Top2, stay tuned!

About Chris Nelson

Christopher Nelson is a very avid fantasy football fan and analyst. He loves music and art just as much and tries to find time for all three. Fantasy football has taught him the love of numbers and bolstered his drive for research making it only right that he writes. You can find him @THEffVigilante on Twitter.

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